Composting in Yosemite National Park: Another Stop Along the GreenPath

mariposa_county_garbage_truckFor park visitors, the image of a garbage truck in Yosemite National Park is not the souvenir that represents American wilderness or precious family vacation memories. Yet, the garbage truck and the purpose it serves are a very important part of maintaining lodging and services in the park. How we go about utilizing this service and the impact on the park itself are top concerns for the concession operations managed by DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite. A sense of stewardship gave rise to GreenPath®, a formal, documented and comprehensive plan covering just about everything we could think of to preserve and protect natural resources. In Yosemite, DNC recycles over 30 different types of materials and we are justifiably proud of our extensive recycling program in one of America’s most treasured landscapes, but did you know that we also have a composting program? Composting can be viewed as the recycling of organic waste and makes up more than 10% of waste coming from the park that is diverted from the landfill. DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite works in cooperation with the Mariposa County Landfill, Recycling and Composting Facility located 48 miles outside of Yosemite National Park. Mariposa County collects organic waste along with garbage in the same trucks – but from separate waste collection bins marked with an “O” for organic – reducing transportation costs. Organic waste includes materials such as kitchen waste, biodegradable utensils, cups and plates and of course, leftover prepared food. organic_dumpsterWith 25 restaurant locations and 8 stores offering grocery items in the park, food waste can be significant. All commercial kitchens in Yosemite have designated compost collection bins, including the High Sierra Camps where waste has to be packed out by mule or horse.  In addition to restaurants, three food & wine events that impact the composting process are hosted in the park at The Ahwahnee each year: Vintner’s Holidays, Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite, and Chefs’ Holidays. However, not all organic waste is generated by park visitors – park residents also separate their compostable waste. In Yosemite, the employees are also community members and stewards of public lands. This is just one component of DNC’s GreenPath program, dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural resources of the special places where we provide hospitality services. We can take pride in the fact that with the addition of the composting program in 2009, our recycling practices result in 65% of the waste generated by DNC-managed park operations is diverted from the landfill each year.

Composting_cycle

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4 comments on “Composting in Yosemite National Park: Another Stop Along the GreenPath

  1. Pingback: Visit a National Park This Summer (And Keep It Clean) | eEcosphere | Backstories

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